Ever since he announced a move to an Autumn Budget in 2016, Mr Hammond has made it clear that he wanted to avoid the Spring Statement counterpart becoming a mini-Budget. His vision was that in March he would be presenting a brief response to the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).
The 2018 Budget has been set for Monday 29 October, setting a deadline for speculation and proposals. Mr Hammond, however, has indicated that he won’t end the long spell of austerity measures, despite improving public finances.
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) produces medium-term financial forecasts alongside the Budget and Spring Statement, but that is not its only task. It is also required to take a longer-term view of the public finances, producing a Fiscal Sustainability Report every two years.